An eight-session Bible study on Paul’s letter to the Philippians is planned for this Fall. We’ll be using a short,
$9 $10 study book by N. T. Wright, Dale Larsen, and Sandy Larsen. This study works for those who like to prepare and study ahead of time and for those who just want to show up and discuss the passage.
This Bible study will start on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. and continue every Saturday for a total of eight weeks. We can adjust the time in the weeks to follow if a majority of participants want to. You are welcome, indeed encouraged to bring a breakfast dish to share.
There will a sign-up sheet for this study in the narthex/lobby or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve twice said this from the pulpit, but I want to make sure that everyone who volunteered for the summer lunch program knows how much their efforts and assistance were appreciated. You have the gratitude of the school district employees who ran the program and the thanks of Jenny, Clark, and I (John) as well.
“I’m tired of having to explain to my children what Christianity really is as opposed to what they’re hearing it is from the loudest people.” — Jill Lang 
I’m just going to let that stand on its own, I can’t improve upon it.
 A personal conversation on July 30, 2019.
Jenny and I went to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last night at the Great Plains Theatre. It was an excellent production.* (Although I am biased as Liz is playing Rachel.) It also gave me another reason to look forward to the 10:30 worship service tomorrow. Layne Roate (who plays Joseph) and Natalie Szczerba (who plays one of the brothers) will be singing How Great Thou Art with Natalie accompanying on the ukelele. It promises to be a great, one-of-a-kind performance.
On a much less important note, I received a big box of chocolates from the Russell Stover parade entry on Thursday, and I plan to share it at the after-service coffee time.
*Shameless promotional plug: it really was a great production of a beloved musical. All the kids in it came through a special Bootcamp held in our basement. It’s not cheap, but they do offer $20 tickets ($10 for students) on Thursdays.
This coming Sunday, August 4, 2019, we’re going to try streaming live on both Spreaker.com and the church’s Facebook page.
The office hours at the church have been changed, but we’re aware that a lot of you took advantage of the church’s clean “facilities” before and during the parade. Fear not, I’ll be there this afternoon, Thursday, August 1, 2019, in the building or on the grounds watching the procession. And I’ll keep the main doors (the ones to the narthex/lobby) open until at least 5 p.m.
Today I’m beginning my research into Junia* the (female) apostle, referenced by Paul as “prominent among the apostles” in Romans 16:7. She’ll be featured in an upcoming sermon.
*For those of you named Julie, the NRSV has the intriguing footnote that “other ancient authorities read Julia.”
A friendly reminder that tomorrow is church T-shirt/Fair/Jeans Sunday. Feel free to wear an old church t-shirt if you don’t have a new one. You can, of course, wear any shirt on any Sunday (including this one), but tomorrow we’ll wear them together.
At the Church Council meeting this past Sunday, new office hours were approved. Beginning next Monday, July 29, 2019, our office hours will be as follows:
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tuesday
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Wednesday
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday
The office will be open (and Pam Simpson plans to be present) over the noon hour.
A clarification: these are the church office hours, not John and Jenny’s working hours. As always, you are welcome to call us on our cell phones anytime. If you need to see us face to face outside of office hours, we’ll be happy to set up a time to meet with you.
Rev. Robert Brooks died on July 20, 2019. He was one of the previous pastors here at Abilene First UMC. You can read more on this page of the Great Plains Conference Website.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read this article before last Sunday’s sermon.
Wendy Fielder is resigning to move closer to family in Nebraska. The Staff-Parish Relations Committee has hired Pam Simpson to replace her. To be clear, Wendy Robinson isn’t going anywhere.